AXIS Capital Holdings Limited
) first-quarter 2014 earnings per share of $1.24 fell short of
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.3% as well as the year-ago
earnings by 35%.
The reported quarter suffered lower investment income from
alternative investments and higher property losses in the
Net premiums earned by AXIS Capital improved 8.2% on the heels of
better results at both Insurance and Reinsurance.
Net investment income of AXIS Capital declined about 24% year
over year to $83 million.
On the back of higher net premiums and other insurance related
income, total revenue of AXIS Capital inched up 1% year over year
to $1.04 billion. It though missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate
Total expense in the quarter escalated 26% year over year to
approximately $889.8 million. The increase was owing to higher
net losses and loss expenses, acquisition costs, interest expense
and financing costs and general and administrative expenses.
Underwriting income deteriorated 36% to $108.8 million while
combined ratio fell 89 basis points (bps) to 91.9%.
: Gross premiums written in this segment inched up 1% year over
year driven by better performances at the liability and credit
and political risk lines of business that benefitted from
improvements in the U.S. casualty markets and new business
Net premiums earned increased 12% year over year due to growth in
professional, accident and health and liability lines of business
along with favorable impact of the reductions in the ceded
Underwriting income in this segment plunged 59% to $17 million,
with combined ratio deteriorating 640 bps year over year to
: Gross premiums written in the quarter increased 6% year over
year to $219.4 million, largely driven by several treaties
written on a multi-year basis, specifically in the property,
catastrophe and motor lines.
Net premiums earned increased 5% accounting for growth in
business written in prior periods in the professional, motor and
Meanwhile, underwriting income declined 29% with combined ratio
deteriorating 960 bps year over year.
AXIS Capital exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of
$.21 billion, up 31.1% from the 2013-end level.
Total capitalization at quarter-end was $7.3 billion, including
$1.5 billion of long-term debt and $0.6 billion of preferred
equity. The figure was up 7.3% over the 2013-end level.
Cash flows from operations of $151 million declined 32%.
Book value per share was $47.13 at the end of the quarter, up 6%
year over year.
Share Repurchase Update
During the reported quarter, AXIS Capital repurchased 4 million
of its common shares for $179 million. As of Apr 29, the company
had remaining authorization of $550 million under its common
share repurchase program that will expire on Dec 31, 2015.
AXIS Capital presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
First-quarter earnings at some other property and casualty
The Travelers Companies Inc. (
W.R. Berkley Corp
) also surpassed their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.
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